Chickweed is an small, invasive annual, very common, wild and powerful little “weed” that can annoy gardeners and delight herbalists when wildcrafted in safe areas. It’s scientific name, Stellaria media means “star” due to it’s 5 petals. The 5 points on a pentagram represent the 5 elements of the earth, water, fire, air, earth and spirit. It’s been harvested as a medicine and a vegetable. Chickweed grows in every country on this planet and has a long history of uses. It’s shallow roots makes it a good much for garden plants. Chickweed grows year ’round and will die off during a freeze and be one for the first plants to come back after the frost. Don’t let the small size and delicate little flowers fool you. This is one tough little herb!!
Chickweed has beautiful 5 petal flower that looks like 10 petals and grows in clusters and blossoms in late morning. All the areal parts are edible and medicinal as well as very high in nutrients. When rain is coming and when the sun goes down, the leaves fold up. It’s pretty easy to identify, low growing, short stems, shallow roots. There is one line of hairs on each stem. The older leaves have stalks, the younger ones do not. It prefers moist soil in sunny or shady areas. Chickweed has no milky sap like many other medicinal weeds. It’s anti-inflammatory and speeds healing of internal and external flare-ups. The saponins in this little plant increase the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. It also dissolves and breaks down unwanted matter such as disease-causing bacteria, cysts, benign tumors, thickened mucous and excess fat cells.
Chickweed weed is very nutrient dense, just some of the nutrients it contains are absorbic acid, beta carotene, calcium, magnesium, niacin, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, thiamine, zinc, copper and Gamma-linolenic acid. It has a higher level of natural nitrates than most other edible weeds. Those allergic to daises should avoid chickweed. Large amounts can cause a mild laxative effect. It’s used in soups, stews, teas and even bread and is safe to eat raw. When eaten raw, it tastes similar to corn silk, mild and sweet. When cooked, it has the texture of cooked spinach but with a different flavor.
Chickweed has a long medicinal history as it’s cooling and balancing, gentle and soothing. When made into a poultice, it’s an emollient which helps to treat skin conditions and the eyes. It’s been used for itching, rashes, psoriasis, eczema, diaper rash, mild burns and bacteria infections. It’s a traditional cure for pink eye and other eye irritations. It’s also a demulcent which is great for swollen mucous membranes such as in sinus infections and the flu. Chickweed is also used for kidney and liver disorders.
I don’t like to focus on weight loss, I believe it’s better to focus on the health and wellness of your divine trinity, the mind, body and soul. There is no magick pill for anything and that includes weight loss or healing. Chickweed can be a great addition to someone who is changing their lifestyle, beliefs and actions for a healthier life and trimmer body. It’s found in many weight loss formulas. Chickweed stimulates the metabolism through the endocrine system and has mild diuretic properties. The saponins in chickweed regulates water and breaks down excess fat. It’s a diuretic which helps to reduce water weight and inhibits the kidney’s ability to reabsorb sodium so it leaves the body.
Chickweed gently moves lymph fluid, which is detoxifying and can prevent or heal dis ease. When used with other UTI herbs, it can lessen the discomfort and pain while healing. It’s anti-inflammatory properties help to relieve the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammation throughout the body. When made into a poultice and put on a wound, it aids in healing.
Chickweed is also a magickal herb. It’s used in spells to strengthen relationships, encourage fidelity, maintain relationships and attract love. As the folklore goes, carrying a sprig of chickweed can attract love. Adding it to your partner’s food can encourage fidelity and a strong marriage. It is correlated with a woman’s moon cycle and medicinally used for menstrual discomforts.
Although it can be bought dry, chickweed doesn’t dry or store well, using it fresh is the best way to go. Love of Lotus Apothecary only uses what we wild harvest while it’s still fresh. It’s best in a salve or tincture as it doesn’t store well. When buying any products made with chickweed, you should always check to be sure the product was made with fresh chickweed and not dry.
What experiences do you have with chickweed? Share your knowledge, resources and thoughts. Let’s keep each other informed so we can all be healthier, happier and live longer, more fulfilling lives.
Resources: Herbal Medicine, Natural Remedies, Ann Kennedy p. 191; Modern Herbal Dispensatory, A Medicine Making Guide, Thomas Easley p. 210; Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs, A Beginner’s Guide, Rosemary Gladstar p. 121-122; http://www.ediblewildfood.com/blog/2018/04/medicinal-uses-of-chickwee;d/; http://www.eluneblue.com/chickweed-magical-properties/; eattheweeds.com/chickweed-connoisseurs-2/
Legal nonsense: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and should not be used to diagnose, treat or cure any dis ease.